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When it comes to that big family ski holiday, I know how hard it is to make sure that you are choosing the right slopes, après-ski dining, non-ski day activities and the all important accommodation.
Queenstown is truly an international ski resort, up there with the world’s best. Boasting stunning views of Lake Wakitipu and the Remarkables to say the town is breathtaking would be an understatement.
In Queenstown you’ve got three real choices for skiing, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables & Cardrona. All are comparable in price with The Remarkables and Coronet Peak being closer to Queenstown than Cardrona.
All three slopes offer a crèche facilities for infants from 3 months as well as ski lessons and kids clubs as you’d expect. The Remarkables & Coronet Peak are both owned by New Zealand Ski who offer free lift pass to children under 10 years old throughout the season.
From my experience, Coronet Peak and Cardrona are slightly easier slopes to learn on – so that’s why I’d normally recommend them first.
Apres-Ski Dinner & Activities
Renowned for its amazing après-ski scene with top notch restaurants and high-end boutiques, however here are my recommendations for families.
My favourite places to eat out with the kids in Queenstown are;
Skyline Restaurant – With the best views in town from the Skyline Gondola, the team put on a great entertainment package with a good selection of food for the whole family.
Patagonia – Ok, so maybe not a restaurant, but it does sell the best ice-cream in town. No trip to Queenstown is complete without a tub of homemade ice-cream whilst overlooking the lake watching the jet boats come and go. I’ll have to be honest this is more of a personal choice than anything to do with the kids. Although, show me a child that’s going to turn down ice cream!
Non-Ski Day Activities
Here are the two family activities that I’d recommend a trip to on the day’s your body is just too tired to make it back up the slopes;
Kiwi Birdlife Park – Located just at the bottom of the Skyline Gondola. Home to New Zealand’s endemic bird species including kiwi and kaka the Kiwi Birdlife is a great way to keep the family entertained for a couple of hours.
The Shearing Shed – Offering a chance for your children to experience sheep shearing and a working farm first hand. The kids will love the opportunity to touch, cuddle, feed, herd and photograph the animals as well as meeting the sheepdogs.
Apartment style Queenstown accommodation perfect for family ski holidays
If you’re travelling with a family, hotels can be an expensive option and often meaning splitting the family up, not to forget the added expense of not being able to cook.
We’ve got five really good options for multi-room apartments that have full kitchen facilities, a lounge area and in-room laundry facilities.
All things that are a god send when travelling with the family, as I’m sure you’ll appreciate.
The Glebe Apartments – Only 300m from the town centre and restaurants just across the road. The Glebe offers with large apartments with up to four bedrooms, underground complimentary car park, gym and sauna.
Heritage Heights Apartments – Elevated on the hillside overlooking Queenstown, the lake and mountains – these 3 bedroom apartments include a heated drying room & ski shed, just 5 minutes walk from the town centre.
Villa del Lago – Fully self-contained apartments individually appointed overlooking the lake each.
The Whistler Apartments – Full self-contained one and two bedroom apartments with undercover car parking and ski equipment within walking distance of the town centre.
Benbrae Resort – The closest accommodation to Cardrona, just a few hundred metres from the entrance, Benbrae is perect for the larger family with 2 & 3 bedroom apartments. With ski storage, large kitchen and heated spa, it’s a great option for family skiing.
Unique to NZ these apartments are like a home away from home. Choose from 40 properties throughout NZ. Need your own full kitchen to self cater? An in room laundry? 1, 2 or 3 bedroom options. Perfect for self drive families, friends and couples.